Hyundai Automotive South Africa’s commercial vehicle range has received a healthy injection with the launch of the new Mighty EX8 truck, boasting several new features and an industry-leading factory warranty that makes it a formidable contender in its market segment.
The new Mighty EX8 – a successor of the previous HD truck – stems from a long, proud and successful tradition of building competitive commercial vehicles with notable strengths in Korea, the rest of Asia and the Middle East. That focus is also moving to Africa, with the resulting expansion of Hyundai ‘s Commercial Vehicles to right hand drive key markets of which South Africa is one.
The Mighty EX8, which is assembled at Hyundai Automotive SA’s commercial vehicle factory in Apex, Benoni, joins the ever-popular H100 (also referred to as our “Bakkie”) and the H1 panel van in Hyundai Automotive SA’s commercial vehicle range.
Studies are also underway with the aim of introducing various other new models, such as the larger H350 bus and panel van, as well as automatic transmissions for the medium truck.
“Hyundai’s addition of the EX8 truck to the local commercial range is the beginning of exciting new developments. It is supported by Hyundai Automotive South Africa’s commercial network that consists of 40 sales dealers and 37 servicing dealers spread throughout the country, as well as Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia and Zimbabwe. This ensures that our footprint covers all the major routes travelled by our customers,” says Wade Griffin, commercial vehicle director at Hyundai Automotive South Africa.
“It also comes at a time when we at Hyundai are very optimistic that a strong increase in sales of commercial vehicles is bound to happen over the next five years due to renewed hope in the change of political leadership, and the prospects for a return to a healthy GDP growth,” says Griffin.
Hyundai’s assembly plant on the East Rand in Gauteng started in 2014 and is now fully operational, assembling the EX8 and the H100 Bakkie. The plant has an land area of 32 000 m2 , with 19000 m2 under roof. The assembly plant is currently manned to produce over 400 units of the H100 and EX8 trucks per month.
Hyundai Automotive SA’s Commercial Vehicle Division has its own truck body builder on site in Benoni that produces several standard and customized options according to the customers specifications. This include van bodies; dropsides; tippers; tautliners; trailers; and H100 tipper conversions. The truck body builder also does all kinds of repair work for customers.
“Hyundai’s mission is to partner with customers to help them build their businesses by offering them good quality commercial vehicles that is suited for its specific purpose. We offer vehicles that are durable and reasonably priced, with generous warranties for peace of mind and low cost of ownership,” says Griffin.
“We also have what we call trained transport solution consultants who will make sure that we offer the right vehicle to get the best return for your business.”
It is against this background that the EX8 Mighty is introduced to the South African market, with the various options and new, practical features that the new truck offers.
More spacious cabin, better comfort and visibility
Compared to its predecessor, the EX8 Mighty’s interior space has been increased from 2,9 m² to 3,5 m², and there has also been an increase in storage space for driver and passengers to 11,8 litres.
Visibility from inside the cabin has been greatly improved by increasing the windshield size – an important feature, because better visibility ensures safer driving. The windshield height has increased by 20 mm, and width by 70 mm. Furthermor the dash has been lowered by 80 mm, allowing an increased visibility angle of 2,2 degrees.
Interior space has been enhanced by increasing the interior cabin height to 1 490 mm. The steering column now has forward-backward adjustment of 60 mm, as well as height adjustment of 76 mm – an altogether new feature that enables the driver to set the most comfortable and safest driving position.
The seat also slides back by a further 55 mm, with increased reclining setting for maximised comfort while driving.
The new, tall style headlamps cast a significantly longer (167m) and wider (8.4m) beam pattern, making night driving much safer.
Exterior changes also improves comfort
One of the distinct exterior features is the main rear-view mirror that is 10 mm taller, and a newly added sub-mirror below it which is convex-shaped to ensure a much wider field of vision, thus eliminating the blind spot in traffic.
Small, yet practical and sensible changes include the door handle that was changed from a vertical type handle to a horizontal “grip” type handle, and a door opening angle that increased from 68° to 80°, making access to the cab even easier.
The size of the side step for easy entry into the cabin has been increased for better footing. It now measures 350 mm x 103 mm, and the door now covers the step when closed.
Greater load-carrying capability
The longer wheelbase of the new EX8 has increased its versatility as a load carrier, and resulted in a longer deck (4 850 mm) that allows you to carry more freight and to do fewer trips.
The Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of the new EX8 is 7 800 kg versus 7 500 kg of Hyundai’s main competitors, which also means you can carry more with the EX8 Mighty.
Various load carrying options according to customers’ demands are avaible, including a tipper conversion, closed bodies for secure transport of goods, and the very practical dropside body that ensures easy loading and off-loading of goods.
More efficient engine conforms to Euro 3 standards
The D4DD 3 907 cc engine, which conforms to Euro 3 emission standards, has a common-rail diesel injection system that delivers greater efficiency, reliability and more power. It delivers maximum power of 103 kW at 2 800 r/min. Peak torque is 373 Nm, which is produced at a relatively low 1 600 r/min. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual synchromesh gearbox.
Hyundai has increased the service intervals for the EX8 Mighty from 10 000 km to 20 000 km, which reduces the service cost of the truck and results in less downtime for the operator.
“The durability and reliability of our drivetrains has also enabled us to launch the EX8 with an industry-leading factory warranty of 4 years, with unlimited mileage in this period. We also offer a 3 year / 200 000 km roadside assistance plan as part of the standard package,” says Griffin.
“Hyundai Automotive SA is also notified daily via a roadside breakdown report of any commercial vehicle towed in, which allows us to act swiftly to ensure that the dealer is giving our customer the utmost attention and with the necessary urgency to get the vehicle back on the road,” says Griffin.
“We also did a price study for a basket of 32 service, maintenance and crash parts, and the outcome was that our parts basket proved to be 20% better priced than that of our nearest competitor.
“Our focus is on our customers and their business. We want our transport solution consultants to give you, the business owner, the correct solution and ensure that you have the right tool to do the job,” says Griffin.
“To summarise: We have a well-priced commercial vehicle that has:
An industry-leading factory warranty of 4 years, with no limit to the mileage;
An extra 300 kg GVM in comparison with its competitors;
A parts basket that is 20% better priced than that of the nearest competitor; and
Service intervals that have been increased to 20 000 km in order to reduce the cost of ownership.
“Taking all this into account, we believe that we have the right truck to partner with your business, and having reduced the cost of ownership results in better bottom line profits for your business.”
Five EX8 derivatives, with keen pricing
Hyundai is launching the new EX8 in five derivatives at very competitive prices. They are the:
EX8 LWB CC R379 500 (excl. VAT)
EX8 LWB CC (with aircon) R394 500 (excl. VAT)
EX8 Dropside R413 100 (excl. VAT)
EX8 Dropside (with aircon) R428 100 (excl. VAT)
EX8 SWB Tipper R451 500 (excl. VAT)